PiPA is today calling on for performing arts organisations and the Government to consider the medium-term needs and risks posed to parents and carers in the sector’s workforce.
Parents and Carers in Performing Arts (PiPA) are highlighting the current developments connected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that directly affects parents and carers in the performing arts.
Those who are freelance or contractors and look after ill, disabled or elderly loved ones or have small children will be confronted with the loss of income and employment if self-isolation is required, or if events, shows and concerts are cancelled, but also if new guidance advises that schools must close.
The loss of income and livelihood is heightened particularly among those on freelance and fixed-term or zero-hours contracts, many of which will contain the ‘Force majeure’ clause, meaning there will be no liability to the employer if they cancel jobs. There is a very real risk of parents and carers seeing their income cut in the short and medium-term, either due to cancelled contracts, self-isolation or increased child and eldercare requirements. This has the likelihood to have a devastating knock-on effect to those who are already vulnerable, such as single parents, sole carers and those on low income, who due to their employment status, are not eligible for parental leave or sick pay.
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PiPA is urging all performing arts organisations to think in the medium term and facilitate flexible and remote working, as well as support freelancers during cancellation and deploy further resources. PiPA is encouraged that the recent Budget stated the Government will consider how to provide appropriate support to self-employed parents, but in light of coronavirus, this need is heightened and urgent.